Farm Bill: A Sweet Deal for Sugar Producers But Consumers Get the Shaft

In a couple hours, the House will vote on a farm-only farm bill that has been in dire need of reform for decades.  Not only are meaningful reforms lacking in the bill, but it would permanently lock in policies that hurt consumers and taxpayers.

The sugar program, for example, has been and may continue to be a massive win for domestic sugar producers. It is characterized by unnecessary trade restrictions, high price supports, domestic supply restrictions, and outdated quotas.  It’s central planning at its finest, and it hurts Americans!  We pay two to four times more for sugar than consumers in other countries thanks to these policies.

Despite these obvious facts, lawmakers may never have a chance to go back and reform this egregious sugar program because the bill being debated by the House would make it permanent law – there would be no expiration of the sugar program and no catalyst for reform if this farm bill passes.

To be clear, this is a huge win for sugar producers – and the corresponding, powerful sugar lobby in D.C. – but a big loss for taxpayers and consumers alike, who will bear the brunt of these outdated policies indefinitely.  The House narrowly defeated the Pitts Amendment, which would have made meaningful reforms to the outdated program (key voted).

Fifty-four (54) House Republicans voted in favor of the Pitts amendment to reform the current sugar program and against final passage of the previous farm bill, which included $750 billion in food stamp spending.  If those Republicans, listed below, are committed to making real reforms, they would reject this gimmicky farm bill.

Amash (R -MI ) Gowdy (R -SC ) Pompeo (R -KS )
Bachmann (R -MN ) Graves, T. (R -GA ) Price, T. (R -GA )
Brady, K. (R -TX ) Heck, J. (R -NV ) Rigell (R -VA )
Bridenstine (R -OK ) Hensarling (R -TX ) Rohrabacher (R -CA )
Broun (R -GA ) Huelskamp (R -KS ) Rothfus (R -PA )
Chabot (R -OH ) Hurt (R -VA ) Royce (R -CA )
Coffman (R -CO ) Jordan (R -OH ) Ryan, P. (R -WI )
Collins, D. (R -GA ) Lance (R -NJ ) Salmon (R -AZ )
Cook (R -CA ) Langevin (D -RI ) Sanford (R -SC )
Cotton (R -AR ) LoBiondo (R -NJ ) Schweikert (R -AZ )
DeSantis (R -FL ) Massie (R -KY ) Sensenbrenner (R -WI )
Duncan, Jeff (R -SC ) McClintock (R -CA ) Shuster (R -PA )
Duncan, John (R -TN ) Meehan (R -PA ) Smith, C. (R -NJ )
Franks (R -AZ ) Miller, J. (R -FL ) Stockman (R -TX )
Garrett (R -NJ ) Mulvaney (R -SC ) Stutzman (R -IN )
Gingrey (R -GA ) Perry (R -PA ) Wenstrup (R -OH )
Gohmert (R -TX ) Pittenger (R -NC ) Wolf (R -VA )
Goodlatte (R -VA ) Pitts (R -PA ) Young, C.W. (R -FL )
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